Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Drumming Books


You must have noticed I seem to be stuck on the drum theme this past week. I'm not appologizing and I may not be backing off anytime soon. It's fun. It's feeding my muse. And it's research for my WIP.

My focus on drumming must be drawing drum related stuff my way because even when I'm not looking I'm finding things on and off line to do with drums or peripherally thematic. Like the email waiting for me this morning from the editor of Book Drum.

I confess I rubbed my eyes a few times and did a few 'am I dreaming?' checks that was so weird. I'd been thinking of putting out a request via my blog and/or twitter and/or facebook for suggestions on where to look for good info on all things drums--history, genres, how-to, jargon, who's who, ethnic practices around the world, but I hadn't yet. I thought briefly that someone stumbling onto my blog saw my interest and was offering info or maybe spamming me. But when I opened the email what I found was even better than unsolicited (except through the urgent exuberance of my psyche's obsession) info about drumming.

It was an invite to participate in a new book site based on a concept I've been interested in ever since I read Gordon R. Dickson's The Final Encyclopedia in the eighties. Of course this isn't anywhere near that ultimate in hyperlinked, multi-media info repository featured in that novel but it's pretty cool none-the-less.

The concept is to create a book profile, a multi-media companion to a book. There are six sections: Bookmarks - Review - Setting - Glossary - Author - Summary. Summary is a complete though brief overview and needs to be objective while Review can have a personal bias. Author contains bio info and interviews and such. Setting is for maps and photos of landscapes and cityscapes and info on the places and time where the story takes place. Glossary is a simple list of words and terms necessary for understanding the author's intent--this is the only section that is not multi-media. Bookmarks is a bit related to the concept of footnoting. This is where you can include materials that expands on anything (item, person, historical or cultural reference) in the story, including audio and visiual aids.

See what they did for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.


So when I do the Bookmarks section for the book I signed up to do--The River Why by David James Duncan--I can include such things as: a video of someone fly fishing (hopefully on an Oregon river) photos of items likely to be used by a fly fisherman--tackle and waders and vests and hats festooned with hooks; photos of the scenic rivers in the story; info about author's quoted or alluded to within the story or in the chapter epigraphs and their possible relevance; info on Seventh Day Adventism, the religion the main character was raised in; photos and info on the flora and fauna encountered by the protagonist; audio of a song mentioned in the text. That's just a few examples.

I waffled back and forth as to whether I was going to sign up to participate. There is a deadline (January 31, 2010) and I have so much on my agenda between now and then what with the holidays and the visit to my Mom's in January. But this project is the ultimate in portable. I needed to re-read and thoroughly notate The River Why for my WIP (for a character whose encounter with the novel was transforming) and this was the perfect kick-in-the-pants. There is possible financial reward if my offering is awesome enough--as their debut onto the web they are having a tournament with a grand prize of 1000 British pounds. But even more intriguing to me is the possibility of a job interview which will be in the offing for anyone whose book profile during the tournament totally impresses them.

Besides, how could I turn away from anything with the words book and drum combined? Seriously? That would be a total snub to the Synchronicity involved in this email dropping into my inbox this morning.

What is really weird and almost unnerving in light of this is that this wasn't the first time this week that I've encountered the pairing of books and drums in a concept. Check out this video that came up in my drum searches. Be patient as the books don't appear until the last scene but it is so worth the wait. It's funny as well as intriguing and it stretches the concept of just what is music to an eye-popping wonderment.





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